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John M. Henderson


  • Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1988
  • M.S., Cognitive Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1986
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1983


In addition to his academic appointment in Psychology, John Henderson is a faculty member in the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Psychonomic Society, and is a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the Visions Sciences Society, and the Society for the Neurobiology of Language.

Research Focus

Professor Henderson’s research program investigates how information about the visual world is acquired, identified, retained in memory and manipulated by the cognitive system to support thought and to guide behavior. His research focuses on the nature of the representations and processes involved in scene perception and reading, including visual selective attention (both covert and overt), visual recognition and representation, visual short- and long-term memory, and the interaction of cognition and perception. He uses a variety of methods including eyetracking, neuroimaging, brain stimulation and computational modeling.

Selected Publications

  • Henderson, J. M., & Choi, W. (2015). Neural correlates of fixation duration during real-world scene viewing: Evidence from fixation-related (FIRE) fMRI. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(6), 1137–1145.
  • Choi, W.,  Desai, R. H., &  Henderson, J. M. (2014). The neural substrates of natural reading: A comparison of normal and nonword text using eyetracking and fMRI. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8:1024. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.01024.
  • Henderson, J. M. (2011). Eye movements and scene perception. In S. Liversedge, I. D. Gilchrist and S. Everling (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements (pp. 593-606). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Nuthmann, A.,  Smith, T. J., Engbert, T., &  Henderson, J. M. (2010). CRISP: A computational model of fixation durations in scene viewing. Psychological Review, 117, 382-405.
  • Torralba, A., Oliva, A.,  Castelhano, M. S., &  Henderson, J. M. (2006). Contextual guidance of eye movements and attention in real-world scenes: The role of global features in object search. Psychological Review, 113, 766-786.


Professor Henderson teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of cognitive psychology and cognitive science, with a focus on visual cognition. He has recently taught PSC 131 (Perception) in spring and fall of 2015.


Professor Henderson currently holds a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study Gaze Control during Scene Viewing: Behavioral and Computational Approaches.